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Lake Profile

Qionghai (Qionghai-hu, Qinghai)

General Information

Description Lake Qinghai is the largest lake in China and located in the northeast of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Lake Gahai, Lake Xingahai and Lake Erhai lie nearby. Over 50 rivers flow into Lake Qinghai. Most are seasonal rivers.
Country China
Latitude 36° 55' 0" (36.9167)
Longitude 100° 10' 0" (100.1667)

Physical Characteristics

Description Lake Qinghai sits at an elevation of 3,176 meters.
Volume 85.00 km3
Surface Area 4,200.00 km2
Depth Mean depth: 17.0 m
Maximum depth: 38.0 m
Origin Tectonic
Type Saline
Catchment Catchment size: 29,661.00 km2
Catchment/surface area ratio: 7:1


Economic Value
Major Cities

Watershed Management


Biodiversity Conservation

Species of Concern



Bureau J.J. LOUIS: Eurasia
ILEC Database
Overview of Qinghai Region, China, including environmental issujes


6/9/2003 - China enhances protection of largest saltwater lake
10/28/2001 - China's largest salt lake seriously basified
10/26/2001 - Two new saltwater lakes separate from Qinghai Lake
10/10/2001 - More than 2,000 lakes in China

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
International Lake Environment Committee, the United Nations Environment Program and Environment Agency, Government of Japan. 1997. World Lakes Database.
Jin, Xiangcan. 1995. Lakes in China. Vols. I and II. China Ocean Press, China.
Munawar, M. And R. Hecky. 2001. The Great Lakes of the World (GLOW) Food-web, Health & Integrity. Backhuys Publishers, The Netherlands.

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